Washington: I am a second-year graduate student who returned to school after four years of professionally successful but unfulfilling and unrelated work. My resume reflects my promotions and increasing responsibilities, and it has been reviewed and praised by my career center and program advisers. I've tried to show how, even though my field of experience was unrelated, the skills I have are universal.

So I am left wondering why I can't even get someone to contact me for an interview for various internship positions I am applying for. My competition is other grad students who have little to no experience outside of other internships or summer jobs. Should I be "dumbing down" my resume to fit in better with a recruiter's expectations of a graduate student's work experience? Getting feedback on why I am not being considered has also been next to impossible.

"Dumbing down" is not in order, but a more specific tailoring of your resume and cover letter to each job might be. Beyond that, it's hard to say where you're going wrong without knowing what field you're in, what your resume looks like, the specific qualifications of your competition, etc.

You mention having trouble getting feedback. I assume you mean from the people who are blowing you off for interviews. That's not so shocking. I mean, if they had time for you . . . well, they would be interviewing you. One resource for feedback you may have overlooked is your fellow grad students -- the successful ones who have lined up the kind of internship you have your eye on. What do their resumes look like? How do their credentials stack up? Even better -- can they be a bridge to direct contact with the people who hired them? Winning internships, like pretty much everything else in the work world, is all about networking.